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Steelers

A year later, Ryan Shazier remains inspirational for Steelers

Kevin Gorman
| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, 2:33 p.m.
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 14:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ryan Shazier #50 walk off of the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 28-21 at Paul Brown Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 14: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ryan Shazier #50 walk off of the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 28-21 at Paul Brown Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier encourages his teammates during practice before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier encourages his teammates during practice before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

One year ago, Ryan Shazier suffered a spinal-cord injury on “Monday Night Football” that left the Pittsburgh Steelers star linebacker motionless on the field at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium.

Shazier left the game on a stretcher and required a stabilization surgery two days later, and there was concern whether he would be paralyzed.

Since then, Shazier has made an incredible recovery. Since he regained movement in his lower extremities, Shazier’s progress has been recorded on social media and in public.

In February, an Instagram photo showed Shazier standing with Ben Roethlisberger at UPMC Mercy Hospital and stand up when shown on the scoreboard at a Penguins game. In April, Shazier walked with a cane to the podium at the NFL Draft to announce the Steelers’ first pick. In October, he walked unassisted onto the field where he was injured. Just recently, he just started jogging.

On the one-year anniversary of Shazier’s injury, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asked about how much it means to see Shazier’s progress and have him around his coaching staff and team.

“Ryan is a special guy,” Tomlin said. “I don’t know if I can give what we witnessed just due by talking about it. To be around him every day, to witness it, is a special thing. He’s a special guy. He inspires us. He continues to inspire us. And I just appreciate that he allows us to be as close as we are to his journey. His journey is ongoing, so we’re going to continue to support him and continue to learn from him.”

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Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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